Manager at business that went up in flames said customer alerted them to fire

Click to play video: 'Flames destroy motel at northern Sask. landmark' Flames destroy motel at northern Sask. landmark
On Wednesday a fire destroyed a motel behind a popular stop for food and gas in Northern Saskatchewan – May 6, 2022

The general manager at L T’s Food & Fuel said staff were alerted to a fire outside their building on Wednesday afternoon by a customer.

Tom Tran said the customer rushed into the store in Waskesiu Lake, Sask., and yelled for employees to call 911.

Read more: Northern Sask. fire crews battle blaze near Prince Albert National Park

“At first we thought he was just joking around and I ask him, ‘Are you sure?’”

Tran said he and the owner went outside to check on the building.

“Right away we saw big smoke coming up from the motel behind the store and that’s when I reached for my phone and dialled 911,” Tran told Global News.

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Tran said there were six motel rooms in the building, which were booked often for travellers, especially in the winter for those who may be stranded by a storm.

L T’s is a popular landmark in the area, located on the corner of Highway 2 North and Highway 264, frequented by travellers heading to destinations such as Prince Albert National Park, Elk Ridge Resort and more.

“We are known as the gateway to the north,” Tran said.

“People travelling north they stop here. They use the washroom facility and pick up hot food items and drinks.”

The fire destroyed the motel, which Tran says they hope to rebuild.

Tom Tran / Submitted Photo

Crews from Lakeland Fire Department, Waskesiu Fire Department, Buckland Fire Rescue, Montreal Lake Fire Department, OSS Water hauling and SPSA Weyakwin Fire Base prevented the fire from spreading further to the store and gas pumps.

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“The thought that was just going through my mind was the fire will catch on the propane tank, and the gas tank, and the diesel tank and that would trigger a big explosion — this whole site would be in flames,” Tran said.

Read more: Emergency crews close Saskatchewan Drive after house fire on Montreal Street

Tran thanked the community and fire crews for their support.

“Everyone was just here helping us, even the people driving by (on the) highway… they were just praying with us that everything will be OK.”

A post from Lakeland Fire Department said the fire is under investigation and no injuries were reported.

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